The Art of Reading Financial Statements – Practitioner Level

The Art of Reading Financial Statements - Practitioner Level


Financial statements appear complex and long, their reading requires judgment and practice, people do not know where to start reading and what to look for or people read financial statements in a linear/sequential way without being able to grasp the main elements even red flags related to the company. This course intends to teach you the main reading keys to read, understand & digest financial statements & financial reports.

As Warren Buffett stated, if you want to become a better investor you have to understand the language of business which is accounting : “You have to understand accounting and you have to understand the nuances of accounting. It’s the language of business and it’s an imperfect language, but unless you are willing to put in the effort to learn accounting – how to read and interpret financial statements – you really shouldn’t select stocks yourself

I took the approach writing this course by looking back myself on what I was missing from my teachers & professors in my accounting & corporate finance classes. This course uses a different approach in reading financial statements and being able to quickly grasp the essence of the company being analysed.

After taking the course you will be able to :

  1. Identify & understand accounting standard used IFRS, US GAAP or Local GAAP
  2. Differentiate between 3 main types of financial statements (balance sheet, cash flow & income statement)
  3. Understand the fundamental accounting principles like going concern, fair valuation, principle of prudence, accrual vs cash accounting, etc.
  4. Understand & identify main corporate governance elements including corporate governance 1- or 2-tier models, role of shareholders & board of directors
  5. Understand role of statutory auditor, being able to identify if a report is audited or unaudited; if audited identify who the statutory auditor is, tenure of statutory auditor, comments about statutory auditor’s independence/conflict of interest / related fees and audit opinion
  6. Understand the scope of consolidation (& unconsolidation) of the reporting company and the 4 methods how subsidiaries can be (or not) consolidated into financial statements
  7. Be able to do a vertical analysis of the balance sheet and understand main profit generating assets and also the sourcers of capital in the balance sheet
  8. Identify sources of capital including long-term debt and its related schedule, cost to service long-term debt including interest coverage ratio, equity capital source including potential retained earnings
  9. Deepen understanding of value creation for shareholders by understanding ROIC & WACC
  10. Understand profitability of company by analysing revenue segments (if available) & cash generating assets, understand operating cash flow & working capital vs financing & investing cash flows
  11. Be able to read earnings information including EPS, NOPAT, EBITDA, EBIT & net income

The course also contains many practical examples as in all of my courses. We will practice & discussion financials of companies like Kelloggs, Mercedes, Telefonica, 3M, Evergrande, Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft, Unilever, Wells Fargo, Wirecard, CostCo and many more.

At the end of the training I will show you the complete process on how I read the financial statements for 3 companies (Vonovia, Qurate, Skywest Airlines) so that you can exactly see and hopefully replicate how I grasp the essence of companies that are not known to me at the beginning.

Last but not least, adult education without practice, knowledge checks and assignments is only entertainment. For that specific reason the course contains 10+ assignments to practice yourself as homework and share after completion with me for review if you wish.

Wishing you a lot of success taking this training and hoping it will make you grow as an investor, analyst or corporate professional. Thanking you as well again for selecting my course

With thanks


Who this course is for:

  • Students in accounting & corporate finance
  • Value investors
  • People interested in corporate finance & financial statements
  • Financial analysts
  • Business appraisers
  • Accountants
  • Corporate Officers
  • Anybody interested in analysing and investing into companies


  • Being interested in companies
  • Have a minimal knowledge how companies & business in general works
  • Wanting to learn how to read financial statements

Last Updated 3/2023

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